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Jesus Wants to Give Us What We Need
Saturday of the Thirty-Second Week in Ordinary Time
Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. He said, “There was a judge in a certain town who neither feared God nor respected any human being. And a widow in that town used to come to him and say, ‘Render a just decision for me against my adversary.’ For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought, ‘While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me.’” The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says. Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
Opening Prayer: Holy Spirit, teach me how to pray today. Inspire in me those desires which you want to fulfill. Make my desires holy ones.
- Colorful Story-Telling: The images and words Jesus chose in this parable communicate to us not only the message that if we beseech God in prayer, he will listen, but they tell us something about the love of Jesus’s sacred heart. Jesus told the story in this colorful way because he was expressing a passionate desire to reach everyone—not only the well educated but the childlike. Story-telling can be very effective, and Jesus used parables to help us learn what is most important for our salvation. In this case, he asks us to persevere in prayer.
- Persevering in Prayer: Jesus clearly wanted us to know that God hears our prayers. Yet, we sometimes wait… and wait… for our prayers to be answered, and our humanity doubts—we struggle, we get bored, we tire of praying. Let’s remember that we are not just praying to a corrupt human judge. We are praying to God and we need to respect his timetable. We won’t see the answers to all of our prayers until we meet him face-to-face—but our faith tells us that our prayers are answered! To encourage us, it can help to remember that when we pray, God has the power to reveal what is to come, heal our pain, enlist us to tear down demonic strongholds, overwhelm us with his presence, help those we love, counsel us on confusing issues, tell us what he thinks of us, forgive us, shower us with grace, and love us (Made to Pray by Chris Heinz).
- Primacy of Faith: Jesus’s great desire is for us to have faith in his Father. In his farewell discourse (John 14:1-14), Jesus chose those moments just before his death to urge us to know and love his Father—to believe in him. Throughout the Gospels, the presence of faith enabled Jesus to heal and restore people, and when they had little faith, Jesus did not work mighty deeds there (Matthew 13:58). To have faith in God unleashes his power in us. “The disciple of Christ must not only keep the faith and live on it, but also profess it, confidently bear witness to it, and spread it…” (CCC #1816). Let us pray daily for an increase in faith.
Conversing with Christ: Since faith is a theological virtue that must be infused in my soul by you, I beg you, Lord, please increase my faith. Grant me a greater gift of faith so that I may “move mountains” (Matthew 17:20) for your glory. Also allow me, Lord, to have faith to know that you hear all of my prayers and answer them—especially those prayers I have been praying for years.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will review my prayers of petition and thank you for those I know you have answered.
For Further Reflection: Reread John 14:1-14, Jesus’s farewell discourse, and thank him for the gift of faith in his Father.
Written by Maribeth Harper.